In Egyptian mythology, Thoth was the deity of scribes.
Thoth thought to be one of the most important said to be born from the skull of Seth also said to be born from the heart of Ra.
He was considered the heart and tongue of Ra. He was also the one who translated Ra’s will into speech.
Thoth played very important roles in Egyptian myths.
He was said to have resurrected Osiris after he was slain by Seth and also later resurrected his son, Horus. He was also credited for creating 365 days instead of 360.
One myth explains how Ra bans Nut from having children on any day of the year. Thoth then goes to the moon god, Khonsu, and gambles five days out of him, therefore giving five days (the demon days) when Nut can have children.
He also was sometimes said to take the place of the Primeval Goose and be the creator of the world and all other gods.
Thoth was originally a moon god.
The cycles of the moon also organized much of Egyptian society’s rituals and events, both civil and religious. Consequently, he gradually became seen as a god of wisdom, magic, and the measurement and regulation of events and of time.
He was thus said to be the secretary and counselor of the sun god Ra, and with Ma’at (truth/order) stood next to Ra on the nightly voyage across the sky.
Thoth became credited by the ancient Egyptians as the inventor of writing (hieroglyphs) and was also considered to have been the scribe of the underworld.
For this reason, Thoth was universally worshipped by ancient Egyptian scribes. Many scribes had a painting or a picture of Thoth in their “office“. Likewise, one of the symbols for scribes was that of the ibis.
Thoth had one direct relation to Ma’at that people know of, although some myths say he was the son of Ra.
His feminine counterpart was a goddess named Seshat. She was also sometimes credited to be the inventor of hieroglyphs, while Thoth taught them. She was also said to be Thoth’s wife or daughter.
Relationship to Ma’at
Ma’at also played a big role next to Thoth. He was there at the weighing of the heart, noting, while Ma’at weighed the heart.
They both stood on either side of Ra’s boat and also he was sometimes said to be Ma’at’s husband. Ma’at was the goddess of law, order, truth, and justice.
Thoth was a unique god. He is said to have two forms: an Ibis-headed human and a squatting dog-headed baboon. He held a stylus and a pallet, and sometimes the symbol of life called the Ankh.
Titles and Roles
He had many titles and a lot of roles. He was often called “Three times Great, Great”. He was a mediator, messenger, scribe, and teacher.
Some of his titles included; ‘Scribe of Ma’at in the company of the gods’ ‘Lord of Ma’at’ ‘Lord of divine words’ ‘Judge of the two combatant gods’ ‘Three times great’ or ‘Thrice Great’.
These numerous titles show that Thoth had a very significant importance to ancient Egyptian mythology. He had his high point of worship in the Old Kingdom.
Hermes and the Greeks
When the Greeks conquered Egypt, they related Thoth with Hermes, their messenger god. Thoth’s center city was Khemenu, (where he has his chief temple) which the Greeks renamed to Hermopolis; the city of Hermes.
Today, ancient temples and ruins worshiping Thoth are there and what used to be Khemenu is now el-Eshmunein.
The main shrine of Thoth was at Khemennu. It was there that he was the head of the local company of deities.
He also had shrines in Abydos, Hesert, Urit, Per-Ab, Rekhui, Ta-ur, Sep, Hat, Pselket, Talmsis, Antcha-Mutet, Bah, Amen-heri-ab, and Ta-kens.
He was mostly prayed in the early dynasty. He was also prayed through the five days of celebration. They would sing hymns and chant spells for Thoth.
There were many celebrations like “The feast of Thoth” in the year. He was a major god for the early dynasty.
*This article was originally published at simple.wikipedia.org.